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The tyranny of textual spam

Ross O. Storey | Aug. 19, 2008
The last thing I really want is to have robots SMSing me, based on my demographic profile and filling up my mobile phones memory with unwanted messages.

Whenever I read about the enthusiasm that 21st century promoters have for using SMS as an advertising vehicle, I cringe and my bald head wrinkles.

The last thing I really want is to have robots SMSing me, based on my demographic profile and filling up my mobile phones memory with unwanted messages. No, Im not interested in a date with an attractive young lady, I may be 55, but no, I dont need any performance enhancing drugs, my wife is very happy, thank you. Im touched by your concern for my sexual health.

This, to me, this is just intrusive textual spam, but unfortunately, if you believe whats being stated in todays tech media, SMS advertising is on a roll and will inevitably increase.

Why, I hear you say, arent these people who send ads to your SMS inbox, required to get your permission first, just like with email? In a way they are. Most mobile phone contracts have a wealth of fine print, including a statement buried away somewhere, that says by accepting this contract, you agree to accept sponsorship messages approved by your provider. Of course, todays web generation is not known for reading the fine print and neither are most of us. So, we usually merrily sign our mobile phone contracts, pay the money, and unwittingly agree to be textually spammed.

I wonder what your mobile phone service providers reaction would be if you told them, can you please stop my phone from receiving SMS advertising, please. I havent yet tried this, but I bet the answer would be Im sorry Sir, this is part of the contract that you signed.
Didnt you see paragraph 95, clause 30.3, line five?

Ross O. Storey, currently the Managing Editor of Fairfax Business Media Asia, is responsible for the editorial content and production of MIS Asia, CIO Asia, Computerworld Singapore and Computerworld Malaysia magazines. With a lifetime fascination with innovation, IT, science and communication, Ross has previously directed his own public relations firms and was formerly a Western Australian Government media strategist and adviser. He has worked in corporate and government public relations, providing strategic communications advice, media training, editorial and marketing services to corporations, government ministers and departments, plus the Australian science and tertiary education sectors. Ross has a news media career spanning some 35 years, having also worked in Australia as a news administrator, editor, reporter, journalist and freelance writer for newspapers, magazines, radio, and television.

 

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